Parenthood is a 24/7 beating that makes you old. Not wise or mature, OLD. Wise people don't wear socks and sandals to a fancy place like the Olive Garden, and you rarely hear a mature person sniff twice then utter the phrase, "there's vomit in my hair again," placing no emphasis, ironic or otherwise, on the word again.
Make no mistake, there is a very fine line between mature and just plain old. For my wife and I, that line sits smack dab on the threshold of the local Blockbuster. Yes, the same bankruptcy-riddled Blockbuster that has been hemorrhaging cash and attempting to reinvent its business model because technology has rendered driving to a brick and mortar location to rent a DVD inconvenient and dated.
You know those conversations about how dramatically things have changed, and the basic activities of our youth that will be so foreign to our children that we will appear prehistoric when describing them? Going to the store and physically renting a movie is one of those activities.
I know this because we recently went to Blockbuster to rent the first Lord of the Rings. I'll repeat that, because I feel it bears repeating. My wife and I went into the local Blockbuster, specifically to rent the first Lord of the Rings. This is not the act of someone you'd categorize as wise or mature. It's actually the act of someone you'd categorize as virgin, which is probably why I instinctively walked down the aisle waving my son over my head. That's the sign language for, "Back away, Nerd, I am not one of you. Now if you'll excuse me, I'll take my copy of Fellowship of the Ring and be on my way."
En route to the register, I spied with my tired old eye, a new release that really piqued my interest. It turns out the romantic hero of our youth, Jack Dawson - of the Chippewa Falls Dawson's - has resurfaced to play none other than J. EDGAR HOOVER! Well son of a bitch, looks like bedtime is getting pushed back to 9pm, because that poorly reviewed biopic is coming home with Daddy.
Had I been wearing my glasses I may have seen the disc was labeled Blu Ray. Instead, some mouthy punk in need of a haircut let me know while he was ringing us up. Apparently, at this particular location, new releases are ONLY available in Blu Ray. Tough break for those of us without the requisite player.
The hippie basement-dweller at the register seemed equal parts surprised and amused that I didn't own a dual purpose gaming system. No, I don't have a PS3, but find a PS2 and a copy of NCAA Football 2003 and I'll wear your young ass out! Maybe I'll say next time. This time I just took my copy of an 11 year old fantasy adventure film and shuffled quietly out the door.
The joke is on them. I intend to return my movie late and use the dropbox. Little trick I picked up back in '99. You're never too old to be a rebel.